Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 85-Bonus Town

Mile 1417 to mile 1426

The barking dog from last night woke me this morning at five a.m. and had no intention of letting me go back to sleep. I hunkered down in my bag anyway.
After eating breakfast Portrait handed me his food bag and I would have been surprised if it weighed even two pounds-not enough to get to Castella 100 miles away. It didn't seem likely he'd be able to resupply at the state park's store, so the question was:  did I want to go to town as well?

For at least a mile while hiking this morning my answer was no. Then I started thinking about town food and town snacks (I was out of chips and some other yummy things). Then I started thinking about Portrait eating town food and packing out town snacks. It seemed unfair.

We were making good time into the State Park and by the time we got there all I was thinking about was a bin of orange sherbet. So I agreed to go into town-after all, it's easier to hitch with a women, so I was just being a helpful hiker.

We got a hitch fast-a turn-around hitch (someone drives by and comes back to pick you up). He dropped us off at the Blackberry Patch diner where we meet up with Salty and Aquaman. The food there was filling and cheap-a hiker's favorite combination. And they had decent milkshakes (a Castle favorite).

After eating and catching up on trail gossip Portrait and I headed to do laundry for the first time since Sierra City over two hundred miles ago. I gave my clothes a pre-wash in the sink. Even after a little bit of scrubbing the water rung out of them black with filth. They came out of the wash looking much better-still faded and stained, but better.

We went looking for Salty and Aquaman who said they were probably staying in town and we could shower at their hotel if we wanted. I had showed at Drakesbad, but my funk said it was high time I shower again. We didn't find them, but we did find Frost and Memphis.  I might have taken a long shower (I did get some grief for hogging the hot water, although there was plenty for all), but it takes a lot of scrubbing to get clean out here.

After a quick stop at the grocery store-where I forgot to by the sherbet-it was time to pack up and hitch out before we lost all our daylight. Portrait took the numbers of Frost and Memphis in case we couldn't get a ride. It turned out not to be a problem. At first our ride was only going to take us to the junction of two highways, but he ended up driving us the extra six miles out of his way.

I had to grab water in the state park and then we hiked the side trail from the park back to the PCT (1.4 bonus miles). We weren't back on trail until 8:30. We cruised right along, but I knew we weren't going to make it too far before dark.

The trail followed a river until the river turned into a lake with one of the biggest dams that I've seen on this hike. It had a massive amount of water going over the dam. And as an add surprise the trail went over the dam. We only hiked about a mile after the dam when it was getting too dark. We found a nice soft spot among pine needles to call it a night.

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